How do you perceive physical activity?

As i write this, I’m literally days away, 2, in fact, from my first marathon – I’m not telling you that so you can send messages of congratulations – I’m telling you that to show you that the way we view physical activity is most definately about perspective.

This is a little about my running story, hope I don’t bore you, but really the morale of the story is about perspective and mindset.

5 years ago , actually, even 12 months ago, I’d say the thought of running marathon could have made me physically sick, or at least twitch a little! Of course, I wasn’t sick, but I viewed it as torturous!  It was SO far out of reach, not to mention, my comfort zone.

Since then, I’ve slowly increased my running, and along the way just decided I needed to do one marathon in my life.  That was pretty much all – I made a conscious decision, rallied my beautiful girlfriends to be support crew, booked flights, accommodation and registered for the event.  To be honest, I’m still feel amazed at what the body is capable of when we set our minds to it!

I’m not implying everyone needs to do a marathon or similar, for you, it might just be starting to committing to using the stairs every time there is an option, instead of the lift!

Today, I’m, yes, a little anxious but strangely excited – excited for lots of reasons.  Here are some random thoughts for race week and a few things I’ve noted and learnt in the last 6 or 8 months:

I’d be a liar, liar pants on fire if I said it’s all been super easy! Did I want to get out of bed and run every time the alarm went off? No! But I did (except for maybe a few times, when I couldn’t logistically sort my children to be safely looked after!)

Training for a marathon is a rollercoaster of emotions – on the days I didn’t run, especially if a few in a row, I’d start to talk myself out of it! Questioning my decision and perspective! In comparison, after I’d run,, I knew I could do it!

A runner I know was telling me how he cried at end of one of his marathons!  At the time, I felt sorry for him and was thinking, he’s soft, who’d do that?!?!? I so get it now, after all the training and commitment, the support (and well meaning questioning) from loved ones, the ups and downs, I might just get a bit terry too!

I’m going to be towards the end of the finishers, and that’s cool, but I absolutely cannot wait to know I am capable of a marathon! I feel like, my view of the world will change even more – I’ll let you know!

My marathon perspective took on a whole new level of meaning when I also decided that the Jake Garrett Foundation would be my beneficiary for my fundraising efforts.  Again about perspective.  The Jake Garrett Foundation provides emotional and financial support for parents whose precious children have passed away.  Thank you to everyone who has generously donated. When you see a friend and her family having to face this, marathon training isn’t even on the radar of degrees of difficulty.  The marathon is half a day and families have to be without their little person forever.

Please, let my gradual shift in perspective be proof that once we change the way we view things, what we’re capable of changes!  For physical activity – just get moving!

I have a gorgeous friend who has been sending memes in the lead up to race week – all supportive, some hilarious – so I have a few quotes to share:

You will never grow if you stay in your comfort zone – cliche but true – how we view a challenge matters!

We always over estimate what we can do in the short term but under estimate what we can do in the long term – just start!  Go for a walk around the block to reward yourself. Make it a priority instead of making excuses why you can’t, just make it happen, and see how it feels!

That’s what I’ll be doing on Sunday!

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Motivation is rubbish?

So, let me explain why I’ve boldly claimed that motivation is rubbish….

I’m going to use your car to further explain:

Relying on motivation is equivalent to having to connect the battery leads on your car each day, instead of just turning the key in the ignition to start the engine.  Turning the key to start your car is an act you undertake when you want to start your car each day, isn’t it?  It’s logical and automated, and you do it without much thought.   (Psst, this is how habits ‘are’ in a sustainably healthy life)

To be honest, I wouldn’t be sure HOW to connect the battery each day and to be more honest, I couldn’t be bothered? Could you?

Ok, I know some people would choose to do it for awhile, but could you keep doing it every day, knowing you needed to do it everyday to get anywhere??

Motivation usually comes in short bursts too – because change is desired.  Habits, on the other hand are a commitment to who you are growing to be.

You get in your car because you know why and where you are going.  Similarly, if your habits support your values, goals and your ‘why’, you will do them with ease.  What you do everyday matters!

Do you really think you would or could connect the leads before you leave home each day, forever?  As if it isn’t enough of a struggle to get to work on time, without having to think about which leads go on which battery terminal???

Does that make sense?  If we can make sustainably healthy habits something we do automatically without a thought, we have more time to focus on nurturing and choosing our marvellous life!

A little deep I know – but I thought it was an excellent comparison to highlight that what we do everyday matters!

Good health information can guide habits that change lives.

I ask you to try it!

Try starting a new positive habit – do it for a week to start with, if you love it, try committing to it for a month.  Review it after a month and see what’s different? Or if you would go back to not having it in your life.

Plan, do, review and change according to findings – know sustainable good health is a process!  Make the process a habit, and it will go a long way to helping you choose a marvellous life!

Have a great week!

 

Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/546f88″>Visual Hunt</a>

Launching….

Welcome to 2017 and the launch of ‘I Choose Marvellous’.

This will be a journey (a free one too, by the way!)

The journey will prepare you to choose a marvellous life.

It will not provide magic fixes, overnight solutions or down right crazy expectations.

It will however, provide you with some thinking material, so you are able to choose what is the right way for you and your family to be marvellous.

It promises to be entertaining and honest, but there will be some action to be taken at your end. Are you up for it?

As discussed in the Facebook Live video (if you missed it, you can find it on Wellness Assist’s facebook page) – there is no one size fits all solution to finding sustainable wellness.

‘I Choose Marvellous’ will address some big ticket items when it comes to wellness – but it won’t provide all the answers – you have to take some responsibility if you want to move forward.

Each month there will be a live recording, short blogs, tips, thinking points, and articles on the foundations of choosing to live a marvellous life.  We’ll cover aspects of physical and mental fitness to conflict resolution and lots in between!

I also need to tell you that not every word, spoken or printed will have come solely from me.  You see, I have read alot, lived a little, observed and come up with what I think matters for sustainable wellness.  Along the way, I will acknowledge the sources I have drawn information from.

The reason I’ve chosen to launch ‘I Choose Marvellous’ is really to wholeheartedly acknowledge that wellness is a process.  So, please, come along on the journey so you can choose to be marvellous!

Technology – good or bad?

Did you know that putting your wet phone in a ziplock bag with uncooked rice actually works to dry it out?  You see, I have used this hack once before and on the weekend had to use it again, thanks to an upside down waterbottle in my bag….gggrrr!!  It’s all good now, as far as I’m aware, every feature on my phone is now functioning again, however, I’m not going to lie, there were a few nervous moments at the thought my phone may not work ever again!

Apps, photos, phone numbers, videos of my children completing random activities – all pieces that I didn’t have backed up anywhere else – could have been gone for good!!  I have backed them up now, you’ll be glad to know!  I can laugh about it now and feel super relieved, but it got me to thinking how reliant I’ve become on this said device – and I’m a digital immigrant!!  It did make me spare a thought for the digital natives, ie. those who have never known a life without technology, esp smartphones!!

For all it’s negatives, technology brings us lots of positives everyday.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to recommend a few apps that I personally use frequently (and would have missed dearly had my phone not recovered!):

SmilingMind – is a modern mediation app – comes from a Not For Profit organisation (of the same name) and helps people integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives.  There are programs for children 7 years and up.  Seeing the picture is the perfect reminder for me to practise meditation – with busy lives, we all need reminders!

MyFitnessPal – this one helps me be more conscious of what I’m eating and the nutrients that make up different foods.  There is also an exercise component and it keeps me honest (most of the time!)  You can even add friends to this one if you are looking for that added accountability!)

My Asics – as a runner, I like to use this app to guide my running plan – I put in the event that I’d like to train for and some other basic info and it comes up with the plan – the challenge is actually getting all the runs done!

The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet – I used this app religiously when I first started learning about the low FODMAP arrangement.  It contains very detailed information about ingredients and recommendations for anyone following this way of eating.

So anyways, I think technology sometimes gets a bad rap.  I don’t believe it is neither good or bad – it is how we use it that determines its usefulness – it’s up to us!

I’d like to think I use it to my advantage, do you?

Do you rely on YOUR smartphone as much as I clearly do??

What technology would you miss if you had to go without?

Featured Image – Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/apple/”>VisualHunt</a&gt;

The best you can be.

In the last blog, I talked about knowing your chronic disease risk factors. For most people, this will have been put in the ‘that doesn’t apply to me box…..  It seems bringing up the issue was quite timely!  (Yay, I got something right!)

It was right, because it was World Health Day last Thursday and it was solely dedicated to targeting and ‘beating’ diabetes.  FYI  Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases with lifestyle risk factors I was referring to!

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to give a massive pat on the back to anyone who lives with diabetes.  It is relentless and unforgiving for the sufferer and those around them, especially carers of young people with Type 1 – you’re awesome!

This is probably also the right time to point out the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

As according to Diabetes Australia, Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented. 

WHEREAS

Diabetes Australia says Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. We do not know what causes type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors. Type 2 diabetes also has strong genetic and family related risk factors.

Did you know the difference?  Here’s a challenge for you – go and tell someone else about the why these conditions are so different.

Make it your conversation starter for the week.  Or you could also share the staggering statistic, that 1 in 11 people have diabetes (World Health Organisation) or that if – Diabetes was a country, it would be the third largest in the world (Diabetes NSW).  Everyone likes to be the bearer of good news, sorry, its not you today! (when you start the conversation).

People with Type 1 Diabetes account for 10-15% of all diabetes cases.  The management of this condition can be heartbreaking and exhausting!  It’s a condition close to my heart and an imminent cure is most certainly on my hopes and dreams list, as I’m sure it is for every other affected person and their families.

Back to the main story (!) – for the purpose of this discussion, we are talking predominantly about Type 2 Diabetes – as its the one that is preventable, and also the one posing a major global health challenge.

As responsible humans, we need to recognise and talk about Type 2 Diabetes, no longer can we as a society, ignore it in any way!  In fact, we need to take concentrated action to make a change.

Sturt Eastwood, the Diabetes NSW CEO, recently told the Huffington Post ‘… Australians need to learn to read the signs of diabetes better.’

Do you know if you are suffering early symptoms or have you used the AUSDRISK assessment tool?  A list of symptoms can be found at: https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/type-2-diabetes

You can thank me later, I’ve helped you out here.  You can do YOUR assessment at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/diabetesRiskAssessmentTool

This tool calculates a risk category and advises you on what, if any action, you should take.  I say it again, the best action you can take is to know your risk!  What would be even better is if you shared this knowledge and risk assessment tool with someone around you who you think might also benefit??

Apologies if this is a bit confronting, but at some stage you might just be grateful you read this blog.  Maybe you haven’t been feeling quite right and it is just the call to action you have been searching for?

I say it again, its about managing your health and taking concentrated action to be the best you can be!